The Man with a Cloak - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man with a Cloak Reviews

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November 4, 2013
Atmospheric little thriller.
January 19, 2013
This odd film strives for masterpiece status and winds up far from it, yet there is an indescribable charm about it. It starts as dully as could be; a Frenchwoman named Madeline, played by Leslie Caron, arrives in New York in search of Thevenet (Louis Calhern), grandfather of her fiance, who needs help in France with his political revolution. She finds him, and he tells her that no, he won't give her any money, and follows the rejection with a series of pompous, drunken observations and jests. Yawn. We are introduced to his help, headed by Lorna (Barbara Stanwyck), a woman with something decidedly evil on her mind, though Thevenet doesn't pretend to not know this and she doesn't pretend to hide it: she, along with the other housekeepers, wants him dead- so long as they are in the will. Once we have established that everyone wants the money, we are introduced to the only character in the film who is indifferent to it; he is a traveling writer named Dupin, played by the great Joseph Cotten, though this is quite probably the worst I've ever seen him. Dupin doesn't hunger for money, though he has no problem taking handouts from the local saloon, as he is a heavy alcoholic. When Dupin meets Madeline he decides to help her, though it is unclear throughout whether he is aiding her because of her sweet naivety or because he is trying to convince himself of his own importance. Or maybe it is something else entirely- a longing for attention, a spotlight. When Dupin enters the story fully the film picks up, and eventually turns into something uite entertaining, if trashy. It has a magnificent twist ending which caught me quite off guard. In better hands, this may have been something almost special; Fletcher Markle isn't much of a director, and the similarities in the disappointing performances by Cotten and Stanwyck (two eccentric actors toned down to the point of robotic monotony) leads me to believe that Markle takes full responsibility in the final product.
½ December 30, 2012
Solid period mystery, set in New York just before the turn of the century (the last one, not this one). Joseph Cotton and Barbara Stanwyck unravel a mystery involving murder and a missing will. There's great atmosphere with some top notch photography
½ March 29, 2012
ok period piece/mystery
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2010
Decent little mystery with Barbara giving her usual competent performance, she shouldn't have sung though. Otherwise an enjoyable view.
December 7, 2009
Stanwyck plots, Joseph Cotten drinks and Leslie Caron is big-eyed and French. A cozy little film that doesn't challenge the actors much, but it's still an easy, fun watch for fans of the stars and the twist at the end should bring a knowing smirk to the faces of some viewers.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2009
pretty disappointing considering it stars two of my favorite actors, stanwyck and cotten. it's a victorian mystery full of stilted dialogue and without much suspense. the 'mysterious stranger' isn't very mysterious or very strange. what happened here? put it down to a poor script
December 20, 2008
good stuff great cast
½ December 19, 2008
Plot flaws, but fun to watch these well known actors in an early flick.
Super Reviewer
December 19, 2008
Purple prose. One of my all-time favorite English profs, when we would discuss elements of style for a particular author, would absolutely glow when he'd read us a passage where the writing suddenly erupted into a kind of decorous effulgent glob. He'd always say something like: If that isn't a purple patch, I don't know what is. And always with a huge smile. I was younger and less, well, aware in those days. I assumed that he would take great joy in pointing these out because they were flaws. But now, in my old age, I realize that my professor was pointing these out and beaming about them because he actually kind of loved them: Purple prose = nifty. Some of you know how much I love Barbara Stanwyck, and Joseph Cotten is on my favorite actor list. If you want to see some almost non-stop purple patch examples, just listen to them talk. The dialog is barely of this real world. It is indeed stylized -- in some cases so much so that it could become quite stilted in the mouths of lesser actors. But this purple dialog is a beautiful thing to behold. They do it so well. Yes, this is the kind of purple writing that my prof really loved. It's not the grossly pulsating bloody, puss pimple that confronts you in the mirror on the morning of the big prom. No, it is the morning bud, opening its petals in perfumed glory to greet a radiant, warming sun that crests the horizon at dawn.
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